'those' vegans who demean adult animals - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-02-2016, 04:49 AM
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'those' vegans who demean adult animals

(Feel free to move this thread if needed).

I think its fair to say we've all run into to this sort of people, who think all non-human beings are like human children, regardless of age.

A good example is a comment I've read in regards to the documentary, Lucent(pretty good documentary by the way, but very hard to watch, still way to remind us of some of the many beings that we fight for, so to speak.)
Where the commentor referred to the sows(mature female pigs) as "little lost girls" and felt a bit irriatated at that. For one, they are kind of demeaning these sows by assuming they are only as smart as a child, while we know pigs are smarter than three year old humans at the least, we still don't know how intelligent they are fully, let alone bovines, avians, foxes etc.

I can't help but think this whole "non-human animals are always children" thing started with the furkid trend that or when people realized that objectifying them Descartes-style was trite but were too used to doing it to stop, to the point that they may do it unconsciously even when they went vegan.

This is not Not meant to offend those in the vegan movement that feel this way, as long as these people aren't supporting the animal ag industry or putting corpses in their bodies, we'll get along fine. Just want to them to consider the possibilities and why I always found it kind of illogical and a bit insulting(nothing against actual children though, those of other species included.), not to mention it kind of sends a warped message.

Anyhow, what are you guy's thoughts on this?

"As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love." - Pythagoras of Samos, ca. 530 B.C.

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#2 Old 03-02-2016, 06:49 AM
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I guess I'm a bit perplexed at what your getting at here. I interact daily with an (IMO) very intelligent adult animal. My 17 year old rescue parrot is definitely intelligent for his species and a mature adult of his species. He has learned to put together simple shape puzzles (like the kind toddlers do) and we are working on identifying basic shapes and colors on cue. He solves complex puzzle toys that yield him a treat and does not forget how he solved it even after months of not seeing it. He plays simple 2 way games. He has figured out how to put some of his toys back together after taking them apart so he can play with and take them apart again. He also understands/uses simple cues and gestures to communicate. He was abused and neglected in his prior homes and was never encouraged (thus never learned really) to talk, but if he did, I'm almost certain he would be able to speak in context and would be a cognitive talker on a basic level as many parrots are. He's far from dumb. Yet, when I get down and talk to him in a baby voice that any human adult would find patronizing, he displays clear signs he enjoys that and gets all happy, just like a baby or small child would.

It's not that I don't recognize him as an mature individual for his species, but his level and abilities of communication and interaction with my species (and behavior overall) is simply more on par with a small human child than a human adult. I think humans view animals as more on the level of human children because they are on the level of human children cognitively. It's not being rude or disrespectful to the animal IMO, it's having a REALISTIC understanding of the animals intellectual abilities so we can interact with them in the best way for them. We have yet to find an animal that has been past a mental capacity of 5/6/7 years old. It makes for better quality interaction and communication with our animal companions when we address them on their level of understanding us. When my bird starts behaving like a human adult, then I'll stop treating him like a mischievous 3 year old. Until then, I will continue treating him like a mischievous toddler human because that's how he acts and where his cognitive/communication needs are at.

Edit: One more thing to keep in mind, would it be damaging to whatever sense of "self esteem" and animal might have to present them with puzzles, challenges or try to communicate a concept they simply don't get? Would an animal feel a greater sense of "pride" in it's abilities to complete a simpler task on par with their abilities or to be "treated like an adult" and given something they don't understand, struggle to figure out and become frustrated and "disappointed" over? If you have ever dealt with an individual who really likes learning and likes challenges and problem solving, you can definitely see they experience some kind of negative emotional response when they are unable to complete the challenge presented. I know the topic of animal emotion is touchy, but I personally do think they experience similar emotions to us and think they could feel a sense of not being good enough and failure. Is it really in the animals best interest to expect so much of them they become frustrated and feel like a failure just so you can feel better not having "treated them like a child"?

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#3 Old 03-02-2016, 08:18 AM
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I think you're worrying about the wrong thing. The more people think of animals as equivalent to small human children, the more likely they will be to be horrified at the way we torture, kill and eat them.
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#4 Old 03-02-2016, 08:51 AM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves).

"As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love." - Pythagoras of Samos, ca. 530 B.C.

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#5 Old 03-02-2016, 08:57 AM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves).

"As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love." - Pythagoras of Samos, ca. 530 B.C.

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#6 Old 03-02-2016, 08:58 AM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves). This is a bit of a nitpick, obviously not as cut and dry as the veggan fad.

"As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love." - Pythagoras of Samos, ca. 530 B.C.

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#7 Old 03-02-2016, 08:59 AM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves).
I didn't misunderstand. It's sort of like worrying whether the individuals a group being targeted for genocide are being addressed by their first names rather than by their last names - trivial, in light of what's going on. (And I speak as someone who, at age 60, sits on the floor rather than dislodging any of the cats taking up the living room couch, a courtesy I would not extend to human children.)
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#8 Old 03-02-2016, 09:00 AM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves).
I guess I'm not understanding how treating an animal (specifically a companion animal/pet) like a small child is condescending and undignified for the animal? Do you feel most people treat small children in a condescending and undignified manner by treating them like children because they are not at an adult level? Or how calling an adult female pig "little girl pig" instead of "independent woman pig" is that big of a deal. Seriously, I could call an animal a ugly poopy face and it wouldn't care so long as I said it in a tone of voice it recognized as a "praise" tone of voice.

I'm curious what some examples of what you're talking about are because I'm not getting the whole treating an adult animal like a human child thing being negative? Or maybe I'm just "one of those vegans"
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#9 Old 03-02-2016, 09:29 AM
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GUILTY: I call our adult cats "the babies" - but then again, developmentally speaking we have infantalised them by stunting their sexual growth, physical independence and natural process of maturation.

So they remain behaviourally, emotionally and mentally, in an artificially imposed immature state of development. This is the case for all pets who we feed and nurture instead of kicking out into the wild to fend for themselves. Effectively they do remain babies or dependent 'children'.

This isn't necessarily the case for all kinds of human and domesticated animal relationships of course.

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#10 Old 03-02-2016, 09:41 AM
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I probably go beyond one of "those" vegans so don't worry too much kiwi :P Not that I have a good idea of what the OP is talking about.
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#11 Old 03-02-2016, 03:30 PM
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I'm not getting it either.
I dislike anthropomorphism. I don't even really like the idea of "compassion" as much as simply "don't be a f***". I don't hurt people out of compassion, I'm simply not a psychopath, and hurting someone without good reason makes you a psychopath (or something mentally wrong if I got the word wrong)

Animals species are each superior in their own right. Humans are total losers compared to other animals who can communicate with each other from miles away, sense weather changes long before they happen so they can take shelter, instinctually know what to eat and not to eat, navigate the exact location they seek. Newborn animals are far superior to infant humans.

However, if thinking of animals in plush, toy like cuteness helps someone who needs compassion over rationale thought, then, good for them.
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#12 Old 03-02-2016, 08:20 PM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves). This is a bit of a nitpick, obviously not as cut and dry as the veggan fad.
Fad? Sounds like my mom, though I went vegan more than a decade ago and am in my 50s...Mom still refers to it as a fad or a phase...
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#13 Old 03-02-2016, 08:46 PM
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Mmmm....the sort of people who let homeless adults die on the street are some of the same people who are ardently pro-life, or who only donate to children's charities. The more they see animals as babies, the better.

Besides, animals are more "innocent" than any adult human could ever be, so we should encourage people, especially religious people, to embrace their innocence.
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#14 Old 03-02-2016, 08:50 PM
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You misunderstand and perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my part. I am referring to is people who treat other species in a way that's condescending and without dignity, again like some pet owners(pretty sure PETA is guilty of it, if memory serves). This is a bit of a nitpick, obviously not as cut and dry as the veggan fad.
Veganism isn't a fad. We now have environmental science and the UN on our side. Even the USDA has published a vegan nutrition pyramid.

Any vegan who sees Veganism as a fad, or who constantly fall back on the victim stance, aren't doing us any favors.
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#15 Old 03-02-2016, 10:58 PM
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I actually think I get it... Although for slightly different reasons.

There's nothing really wrong with talking to/about animals like they are babies. Especially from the animals point of view. They wouldn't care.
But, I can understand avoiding doing that if you were making an informed video about veganism and were trying to reach meat eaters. Stating facts and being honest and direct I think is the way to inform people. Saying "wook at dese poor wikkle bubbies" will make the whole thing look at bit precious and silly to someone who doesn't get it. If I wanted to share a video with someone to help them understand I would specifically avoid videos with that kind of fluffiness. As well as something that was aggressive. Or too much of any emotion in general.
If someone understands these emotions, they'll feel them on their own, they don't need someone being all soppy at them about it.
I understand these emotions myself, but not everyone shares them.
It's like how I myself avoid things that focus on veganisim for spiritual reasons because I am not spiritual so I cannot relate to them and it makes me feel a bit awkward.

Basically in the end, regardless of emotions, being vegan comes down to this.
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simply "don't be a f***" .
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#16 Old 03-03-2016, 02:32 AM
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I can see it to an extent too, but maybe a little bit of a different view. I get irritated when I see Facebook posts showing pets parading around in cute doll clothes people put on them, or "hot dog" costumes and so on. Or those videos of parrots saying swear words they were taught or dancing to funky music. It serves as entertainment to humans but to me seems a little bit demeaning of animals. It may be harmless to them (though in some cases the doll dresses could be harmful if the animal suffocates, trips, or can't move in them) but it makes me wonder if people lose respect for these animals on some level because they are seen as nothing but "cute" and entertaining or "stupid". It's not something I really say anything about or put at the front of my concerns for animal rights (unless I see that it is bordering on abuse). It is more irritating than anything else.
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#17 Old 03-03-2016, 02:43 AM
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I can see where the attitude of seeing as animals as being like little children, all innocent and needing our hugs and help can be detrimental. Like so many people see the idea of 'why eat one and not another?" as perfectly understandable because they certainly do have reasons for that- they choose to see one as worthy of their support and another as not being worthy, but a commodity because they're 'cute' or cuddly. People are adverse to giving the respect to anyone they don't see as worthy. Humans get more acceptance, but even so, we;re still a culture that gives more value to the pretty, the strong, the acheivers

But I do get that the idea of "babying" your cats is perfectly fine!
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#18 Old 03-03-2016, 05:03 AM
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to those people talking about fads, the OP wrote vEGGan, the extra g being there for "vegans" who eat eggs. I dunno how it started but it exists.
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#19 Old 03-03-2016, 05:18 AM
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Fad? Sounds like my mom, though I went vegan more than a decade ago and am in my 50s...Mom still refers to it as a fad or a phase...
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Veganism isn't a fad. We now have environmental science and the UN on our side. Even the USDA has published a vegan nutrition pyramid.

Any vegan who sees Veganism as a fad, or who constantly fall back on the victim stance, aren't doing us any favors.
I think the OP actually meant "veggan", not vegan. Veggans call themselves vegans, but they eat eggs.
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#20 Old 03-03-2016, 06:51 AM
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to those people talking about fads, the OP wrote vEGGan, the extra g being there for "vegans" who eat eggs. I dunno how it started but it exists.
Oh I didn't realize, sorry!
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#21 Old 03-03-2016, 01:39 PM
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I guess I'm not understanding how treating an animal (specifically a companion animal/pet) like a small child is condescending and undignified for the animal? Do you feel most people treat small children in a condescending and undignified manner by treating them like children because they are not at an adult level? Or how calling an adult female pig "little girl pig" instead of "independent woman pig" is that big of a deal. Seriously, I could call an animal a ugly poopy face and it wouldn't care so long as I said it in a tone of voice it recognized as a "praise" tone of voice.

I'm curious what some examples of what you're talking about are because I'm not getting the whole treating an adult animal like a human child thing being negative? Or maybe I'm just "one of those vegans"
Nothing wrong with treating children like children. But I am talking about people who treat non-human individuals that have matured/adult animals like children.

Here's an example

If you treat a calf like little girl/boy that's fine. Because they are at that age.

But when you treat a grown cow or bull who sees the world from a very different perspective like that, it comes off as a bit condescending.

Its like if I called an adult, mentally mature human in their prime a "baby boy" it just feels like mocking.

Though there are alot of humans who have not grown up mentally, but I haven't seen too much evidence of that in other species, I won't deny that it could happen from time to time. But even then the whole species isn't like that(which many people like to think is the case)

"As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love." - Pythagoras of Samos, ca. 530 B.C.

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#22 Old 03-03-2016, 02:56 PM
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Really, what is an adult? My senior dogs play like puppies. And my old man husband behaves like an adolescent far more often than I would like to admit. I just roll my eyes at all of them.
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#23 Old 03-03-2016, 09:02 PM
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It isn't just animals that gets done to - it happens to people too. Before my grandmother passed she was in a nursing facility. One of the staff continually used 'affectionate' diminutives with her - 'sweetie' and whatnot. It bugged me to no end. My grandmother was widowed in 1950. My mother was 3, my aunt 5. Grandma never remarried. She raised two daughters as a single mother. In the 50s. In a farming town with a population of 225. The diminutives rang a little hollow.

The common thread is the duty of care. The way we talk to/about children is the model for how we talk to/about those we have a duty of care for.
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#24 Old 03-04-2016, 11:50 AM
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Many/most of us use diminutives when talking to individuals for whom we have a great fondness, whether they are human or nonhuman, and regardless of age.

I have sometimes inwardly winced when I have been addressed by diminutives by strangers, such as store clerks, parking attendants, etc. (this has happened all my life, and I'm 60 now), but I have told myself that it's not intended as a sign of disrespect, but rather as an attempt at friendliness. (I do look service people in the eye and treat them as individuals, rather than as some sort of automaton, and I think that the "honey", "sweetie", etc. that I sometimes get in response is just in appreciation.)
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#25 Old 03-05-2016, 07:16 AM
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Shall I stop calling Kiwi "little buddy" and refer to him from now on as "petite sir" as not to offend his oh-so-mature sense of self Sorry, but I think this is just going too far into the twilight zone of extreme veganism and isn't benefitting animals in any way. On another note, I think this kind of thought process is part of the reason so many omnis have such problems relating to vegans- they assume we all think like this.

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#26 Old 03-05-2016, 08:22 AM
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As a nurse I often call my patients "honey" or "dear". I don't think they mind. I'm kind of the mom type, so maybe that's why? And I used to call my dog and children all kinds of pet names. Still call the adult children pet names, actually.
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#27 Old 03-05-2016, 09:21 AM
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Shall I stop calling Kiwi "little buddy" and refer to him from now on as "petite sir" as not to offend his oh-so-mature sense of self Sorry, but I think this is just going too far into the twilight zone of extreme veganism and isn't benefitting animals in any way. On another note, I think this kind of thought process is part of the reason so many omnis have such problems relating to vegans- they assume we all think like this.
I use diminutives all the time with "the kids/babies". They act like kids or babies and I treat them like kids or babies. They're my responsibility. By treating them kids they behave like kids. As "kids" I feed and water them.

In fact they've never had the opportunity to grow into mature beings because I've kept them as children as most domesticated pets are when cared for (irrespective of what names we use).

The upside for me is that I like caring for them, the upside for them is that they like it too. Arguably domesticated pets are a pest and I understand that, however although these guys in my care, I didn't breed them. Nevertheless, in my care they are neutered and looked after.

In someone else's care, they may not be. They've not been bred or raised to cope with the wild. They've not been raised as wild animals, they've been bred and raised as dependent creatures.

I treat them as my babies and they treat me as their mummy and we will do that until they die. As that's what they were created for, and I'm happy to do that, I see no problem with me using 'diminutive' language to express the nature of our relationship.
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#28 Old 03-05-2016, 10:45 AM
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I relate to using a 'voice' that gets an animals attention in a positive way. A dog gets happy with a sing-songy, questioning voice--'are you a good boy? yes you are, who's a good boy?". It doesn't matter what the words are, they're happy, playful. with a cat I often take on a more lullaby, soothing voice.

I kinda think more of the mindset of people when they objectify them. many people really dont see animals as having value other than how they can be used.That's why I'm not a fan of the why love one and not another- too many people have told me the only reason they don't eat puppies or kittens is because we're GIVEN them the purpose of being pets, not because they're any different
Few people are intelligent enough to understand the many varieties of intellect. Try navigating across town with a blindfold and hearing silencers on and see how smart you are

I see what the OP is saying as more with mindset of people rather than just how we address animals
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#29 Old 03-05-2016, 11:21 AM
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I use diminutives all the time with "the kids/babies". They act like kids or babies and I treat them like kids or babies. They're my responsibility. By treating them kids they behave like kids. As "kids" I feed and water them.

In fact they've never had the opportunity to grow into mature beings because I've kept them as children as most domesticated pets are when cared for (irrespective of what names we use).

The upside for me is that I like caring for them, the upside for them is that they like it too. Arguably domesticated pets are a pest and I understand that, however although these guys in my care, I didn't breed them. Nevertheless, in my care they are neutered and looked after.

In someone else's care, they may not be. They've not been bred or raised to cope with the wild. They've not been raised as wild animals, they've been bred and raised as dependent creatures.

I treat them as my babies and they treat me as their mummy and we will do that until they die. As that's what they were created for, and I'm happy to do that, I see no problem with me using 'diminutive' language to express the nature of our relationship.
I completely agree! Companion animals of a certain level of intelligence/social nature look to their human carers for behavioral direction, social cues, affection and companionship too. They know no different and have no concept of the wild. Especially animals like dogs and cats who have been domesticated for thousands of generations who's very instinctual behavior has been altered through domestication. What we call them in our language is irrelevant, it's our actions with and towards them that count. Actions always speak louder then words to me.
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#30 Old 03-06-2016, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ReluctantWarrior View Post
Nothing wrong with treating children like children. But I am talking about people who treat non-human individuals that have matured/adult animals like children.

Here's an example

If you treat a calf like little girl/boy that's fine. Because they are at that age.

But when you treat a grown cow or bull who sees the world from a very different perspective like that, it comes off as a bit condescending.

Its like if I called an adult, mentally mature human in their prime a "baby boy" it just feels like mocking.

Though there are alot of humans who have not grown up mentally, but I haven't seen too much evidence of that in other species, I won't deny that it could happen from time to time. But even then the whole species isn't like that(which many people like to think is the case)
I think what you are doing is anthropomorphism, not necessarily animal rights. I'm glad you respect animals, I do as well, but frankly, I doubt a cow cares enough about human social hierchies to mind being called baby girl or ma'am. A lot of what you are referring to are human structures of power, based in your own assumption that children are less powerful than adults, because adults "run the show." People are sometimes amazed that I talk to children like they're people. Because they are.

Animals don't care about our power structure or our patriarchy. It seems like you're putting feminist issues onto animals, tbh.

I like anthropomorphic fiction, like Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, Tao of Pooh, Te of Piglet, and so forth, where adult animals wear clothes or speak in adult words, but I don't think it's wise to make this the crux of a political argument, since in truth the premise is misleading about how much an animal actually gives a crap about human power structures.

Like others have already mentioned, I also think this kind of thing hurts veganism, rather than helps it.

Maybe you feel infantalized in your own life? Perhaps you should explore that.
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